BRIEFCASE.Byline: - Staff and Wire Services
Health care tops GM's priority list
DETROIT - General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz Bob Lutz may refer to:
Lutz said GM must get its health care costs under control, and one way to do that would be to adopt a health care plan that provides the same benefits for salaried and hourly workers.
Lutz said he hoped GM wouldn't have to phase out one of its weaker brands, such as Buick and Pontiac, at a time when competitors like Toyota Motor Co. are adding brands. But he said he and GM Chairman and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. Rick Wagoner George Richard "Rick" Wagoner, Jr. (b. February 9 1953, Wilmington, Delaware) is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors.
Wagoner grew up in Richmond, Virginia and graduated from John Randolph Tucker High School there. are determined to spend resources wisely.
Oil price drop tied to supplies, dollar
NEW YORK New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of - Oil prices sank more than $2 a barrel Wednesday on rising crude supplies in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , a strengthening dollar and signs that China's energy appetite, while still growing, has its limits.
Rising interest rates, which could slow economic growth and energy demand, were also a factor. Brokers noted that technical and speculative trading magnified the sell-off.
Light, sweet crude fell $2.22, or 4 percent, to settle at $53.81 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)
The world's largest physical commodity futures exchange. , where oil futures are down nearly $4 a barrel since the intraday high of $57.60 set last Thursday.
In London, Brent crude Brent Crude is one of the major classifications of oil consisting of Brent Crude, Brent Sweet Light Crude, Oseberg and Forties. Brent Crude is sourced from the North Sea. The Brent Crude oil marker is also known as Brent Blend, London Brent and Brent petroleum. for May delivery settled at $53.04, down $1.55 on the International Petroleum Exchange.
Oil is roughly 45 percent more expensive than a year ago but still well below the inflation-adjusted peak above $90 a barrel set in 1980.
MCI (1) (Media Control Interface) A high-level programming interface from Microsoft and IBM for controlling multimedia devices. It provides commands and functions to open, play and close the device.
(2) (Microwave Communications Inc. Inc. to extend talks with Qwest
NEW YORK - Long-distance telephone company MCI Inc. decided Wednesday to extend talks with Qwest Communications Inc. on its $8.45 billion bid to break up MCI's merger agreement with rival Verizon.
Verizon Communications Inc., whose deal to acquire MCI is currently worth $1.9 billion less than Qwest's bid, has consented to MCI's request for a waiver to conduct further discussions, MCI said in a statement following a board meeting held Wednesday.
MCI, formerly known as WorldCom, said it instructed its advisers and management to reopen the talks ``promptly.''
But the company declined to say how long it will take to decide whether it still sees the lower price Verizon is paying as justified due to Qwest's far weaker financial condition and prospects.
Ford trucks, SUVs are being probed
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators said Wednesday they are investigating more than 3.7 million Ford Motor Co. pickups and sport utility vehicles This page lists sports utility vehicles currently in production (as of April 2007), as well as past models. The list includes crossover SUVs, Mini SUVs, Compact SUVs and other similar vehicles. because of a defect in a cruise control switch that already has led to a recall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, often pronounced "nit-suh") is an agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, part of the Department of Transportation. said it would examine Ford F-150 pickups from the 1995-1999 and 2001-2002 model years, and Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from the 1997-1999 and 2001-2002 model years.
Agency officials said they have received 218 complaints of engine fires from the cruise control switch in those models. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.
The investigation of the popular vehicles does not include the 2000 model years of the trucks and SUVs, which was covered by recall in January of nearly 800,000 vehicles.
Inflation, interest hurting economy
WASHINGTON - Consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in four months in February and home sales fell, fresh signs that inflation and higher interest rates may be exacting a toll on the U.S. economy.
The latest snapshot of inflation, released by the Labor Department The Department of Labor (DOL) administers federal labor laws for the Executive Branch of the federal government. Its mission is "to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their working on Wednesday, raised the chances that the Federal Reserve might have to be more aggressive in its interest rate-raising campaign, economists said.
The consumer price index jumped 0.4 percent in February as costs rose for items like energy, health care and education. The pickup in inflation came after consumer prices were flat in December and increased by just 0.1 percent in January.